Trailing as much as 10-2, the Golden Eagle bats came to life, answering back with seven runs in the final two innings of the game for a walk-off 13-12 win over Arizona State.
“Our radio announcer (John Cox), just the other day, listened to Jack Buck NLCS 1985 call. Jack called it as good as anybody when he said ‘I can’t believe what I just saw’ and honestly I can’t believe what I just saw out of our guys” Southern Miss coach Scott Berry said. “It wasn’t the start that we were looking for, obviously, but it was the finish that we needed.”
ASU’s pitching loaded the bases with no outs to start the ninth inning. The Sun Devils pitching walked in a run and then gave up a run on a sac-fly from Danny Lynch.
This led to Gabe Montenegro’s walk two-run RBI single. Stepping to the plate, Montenegro was 4-for-5 with no RBI.
“It’s about getting on base for guys behind you,” Berry said. “He came up on a left-on-left situation,” Berry said. “To deliver like he did shows the kind of player he is and the player that he has become.”
Arizona State’s offense opened the game with a 4-0 lead in the first inning.
Southern Miss cut the lead to 5-2 after Matt Wallner hit a solo home run in the second inning and Matthew Guidry hitting an RBI single. After adding another run in the fourth inning, the Sun Devils put up their second four-run frame in the fifth inning to extend their lead 10-2. But Southern Miss answered back with a four-run inning.
Despite Arizona State adding two more runs, Southern Miss responded with a three-run home run from Matthew Guidry and then with the four-running inning in the ninth inning.
Southern Miss will now face LSU at 8 p.m. Sunday, and will be broadcasted on ESPN 3.
The two teams combined for 29 hits and used a total of 10 pitchers with Southern Miss using six arms.
For the Golden Eagles, the only pitchers to not see action are Josh Lewis, Jarod Wright, Mason Strickland and Adam Jackson. In the game, Stevie Powers threw for one inning, Alex Nelms threw for 1/3 inning, Cody Carroll threw two innings, Hunter Stanley threw four innings and Brant Blaylock threw one inning.
“Obviously we’re down to the end and probably kind of starting over with those who haven’t [pitched],” Berry said. “It’s an all man on deck. You saw early in the game a whole slew of them that took off running towards that pen. That was basically saying the statement that we need you to step up when called upon this may take the whole staff and obviously, it will again tonight.”
Southern Miss and LSU will play at 8 p.m. tonight in the regional championship. If Southern Miss beats LSU the two teams will play on Monday at 3 p.m.